FOCUS talks to Film in Georgia
What brings you and Film in Georgia to FOCUS this year?
FOCUS is the place to meet! Since 2016, when Enterprise Georgia implemented “Film in Georgia” Cash rebate 20-25% program our main goal was to publicize this untapped filming destination and to get to this saturated market with aggressive promotional campaign. So, naturally this objective brought us to FOCUS 2017 where we saw great potential for networking and exciting opportunities. This event gives an opportunity to pitch ideas to lots of producers searching for locations and developing project. The event brings together professionals from every subsector of the industry: production companies, service agencies, independent producers, film commissioners and even rental companies. This makes Focus fast growing and must attend global production event for Europe, where on the one hand we can gain contacts and broaden our market insight on the other.
Think about a scaled down version of the planet Earth – That is Georgia! A small country located in the Caucasus region where Europe meets Asia, Georgia has a lot to offer to filmmakers- from flamboyant glass-and-steel structures to ancient fortresses and distinct Soviet-era buildings, from monumental peaks of the Caucasus Mountains to black sand & pebble stone seashores, humid woods to semi-deserts. Here you can find the perfect location for production and each corner is capture-ready.
What productions have recently been filming in Georgia?
Today we are happy to say that despite the short time since the launch of the program, the incentive has already attracted 16 international productions, out of which 9 have been already completed. Most of the projects are Georgian – European (France, Germany, and Italy) co-productions, Indian projects shot entirely in Georgia, two US and one UK project. It’s remarkable that for the very first time Georgian movie, “Film in Georgia” beneficiary- “My happy family” (2017) by Simon Gross & Nana Ekvtimishvili was premiered at Sundance, screened at Berlinale and distribution rights were purchased by Netflix. US production “Halo of Stars” by Anthony Lucero starring Lily Collins, Holliday Grainger and Stacy Martin was released this year. We take pride in the fact that our beneficiary “Girls of the sun” (2017) by Eva Husson was nominated at Cannes Film Festival.
Just to sum up, this little country has vibrant film industry which dates back to 1908. National cinematography has enjoyed great success and established its own unique identity. The success of Georgian films is a vivid example of that – “Tangerines” (2013) by Zaza Urushadze has been nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 87th Academy Awards and at the 72nd Golden Globe Awards; “Corn Island” (2014) by George Ovashvili was selected as the Georgian entry for consideration for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 87th Academy Awards.
Please tell us all about the “Film in Georgia” Cash Rebate Program.
The Film in Georgia programme is a special 20-25% cash rebate system enabling local and international producers to shoot movies and other productions in our country and in return get a rebate on qualified expenses incurred in the country.
Georgia offers international producers not only financial incentives, but also flexible and transparent services. The state programme was developed on the ‘one-stop-shop’ principle basis. We are ready to support international producers in obtaining permits, in communicating with the public sector, finding desired locations and providing support on all production issues.
We do believe that Film in Georgia, coupled with the country’s geographic and architectural diversity, business-friendly environment and low level of bureaucracy ensures a pleasant and productive filmmaking experience.
Tatia Bidzinashvili studied business administration, strategy management, public policy, creative industry management and private business law in Georgia, Sweden and Berlin. She has worked as the head of the tax department at Revenue Service Georgia (Ministry of Finance) and as an advisor of Entrepreneurship development department at Lepl “Enterprise Georgia” (National Agency under the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable development of Georgia). Since 2016, Tatia worked for creative industry development managing “Film in Georgia” Cash Rebate program. She aims to put the country Georgia on the world map as a hub of creative industries, especially in terms of Film and Fashion Industries.
To meet Film in Georgia at FOCUS 2018 on 4/5 December register for a FREE delegate badge here.